Cold weather can affect your health but there are some things you can do to help stay well.
- Boost your immunity
- Heat your home well this winter
- Top tips for staying warm this winter
- Plan ahead
- Heating costs
- Tips for a cosy home
Winter flu vaccine
If you’re 50 or over, pregnant, a carer or a close contact of anyone who has weakened immunity or if you have a long-term health condition, you’re entitled to a flu vaccination. You get this for free as you’re at greater risk of being seriously affected by the flu.
The flu vaccine reduces the likelihood of you getting flu and the severity of flu symptoms if you do catch it, and could help prevent your relatives or carers from catching flu from you.
This winter, if you are in one of the groups below, and haven’t yet had your free flu vaccine, book yours today.
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
You can get your NHS flu vaccine from:
Find out more online on the NHS website.
Covid-19 booster vaccine
If you’re eligible for a flu vaccine, it’s also likely you’re eligible for a Covid-19 booster vaccination. Information on eligibility and when and how to book can be found online.
When to let fresh air in
When you have visitors in your home, you should regularly ventilate the areas you use during the visit to protect against the spread of coronavirus.
Wearing layered clothing or thermal underwear will help to keep you warm when you have your windows open. If you are concerned about the costs of heating, opening windows for shorter periods of time can still help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
For full information about winter warmth, particularly for those with health conditions that may be affected by cold weather, such as respiratory or circulatory conditions, see the NHS Choices Keep Warm, Keep Well pages.
Moving around at home will warm you up but heading out to a club or group at a warm and cosy community centre is even better. Search for groups on the health & social care service directory and Hive directory
Eat and drink well
Hot meals and hot drinks will help you stay warm. Drink plenty of water – keeping hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer. If you’re not able to cook, consider Meals on Wheels services (for more information telephone 023 9268 8390) or local lunch and dinner clubs that offer affordable hot meals, with good company too! Search for meals on the health & social care service directory and the Hive directory
Dress up warm
Wearing layered clothing or thermal underwear will help to keep you warm at home. Put on more layers rather than wrapping up in a blanket, so that you’re not tempted to stay still for too long – getting up and about will keep you warm too. Remember, slippers or thermal socks will keep your feet toasty, but make sure they fit well and have non-slip soles to avoid injuries caused by slips and trips in the home.
Have a cold weather plan
Make sure you’re prepared in case the bad weather keeps you from going out for a few days. See our ‘plan ahead’ section for details – and remember to check in on neighbours. If you need a good neighbour to check in on you, there are local community groups that can do this, search for good neighbours on the health & social care service directory and the Hive directory.
If you’re not able to get out and about, consider a local ‘good neighbours’ service. There are several locally, with services ranging from company, collecting prescriptions or essential food items, and pet care. Search for good neighbours on the health & social care service directory and the Hive directory
Apply for a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 26 September 1955 and you don’t receive it automatically with your State Pension or benefits.
Check if you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount. If you receive Pension Credit, are on a low income or have a disability visit gov.uk to find out whether you could receive a £140 discount on your electricity bill.
Visit Switched On Portsmouth for access to free energy saving services and measures, such as insulation, heating systems and solar PV.
Call the Switched On Portsmouth freephone advice line for all heating and energy queries – 0800 260 5907 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).
Apply to be on the Priority Services Register with your energy supplier. This will ensure you will receive extra support in the event of a power shortage and offers regular meter reading services to make sure you’re not being charged for more than you’re using.
Stay warm and well this winter:
If you’re struggling with high energy bills, reach out for help either through Switched On Portsmouth or your energy supplier. There are multiple schemes and services in place to make sure you can afford to heat your home to healthy and comfortable levels. Don’t suffer in silence, give us a call on 0800 260 5907.